Lambuth University was founded in December 1843 as the Memphis Conference Female Institute. Created by the Memphis Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, under a charter
received from the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee authorizing its founding,
the school began educating the people of West Tennessee.
In November 1921 the Memphis Annual Conference voted to establish a coeducational
institution, and in 1923, the school admitted its first male students. With that development, the school’s name was changed to Lambuth College, in honor
of the Reverend Walter R. Lambuth, M.D., a pioneer Methodist missionary bishop.
In July 1991 the historic liberal arts “college” became a university. During the school’s 168-year lifetime, it earned an outstanding academic reputation
and was recognized as one of the nation’s top colleges by U.S. News and World Report and The Washington Post.
As a small institution, Lambuth fell victim to dwindling fiscal resources, and as
a result, it was forced to cease independent operation in May 2011. However, recognizing the important role the school had played in higher education
in West Tennessee, civic leaders and government officials worked to maintain the Lambuth
campus as a part of the University of Memphis, a public four-year research university
that is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. In August 2011 the University began offering classes at the Lambuth campus in Jackson.